This general lack of Nigerian nationalism coupled with an ever-changing and often ethnically biased national leadership, have led to severe internal ethnic conflicts and a civil war.
Today bloody confrontations between or among members of different ethnic groups continue. Nigeria is in West Africa, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and just north of the equator.
Abuja is in a federal territory that is not part of any state.While Abuja is the official capital, its lack of adequate infrastructure means that Lagos remains the financial, commercial, and diplomatic center of the country. Nigeria has the largest population of any African country.It is bordered on the west by Benin, on the north by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.Nigeria covers an area of 356,669 square miles (923,768 square kilometers), or about twice the size of California.Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.
Prior to their conquest by Europeans, these ethnic groups had separate and independent histories.
In July 2000, Nigeria's population was estimated at more than 123 million people.
At about 345 people per square mile, it is also the most densely populated country in Africa. Despite the rampages of AIDS, Nigeria's population continues to grow at about 2.6 percent each year. Nearly 45 percent of its people are under age fourteen.
In a country with more than 250 individual tribal languages, English is the only language common to most people.
Unofficially, the country's second language is Hausa.
She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.